Repeated dyspnea score and percent FEV1 are modest predictors of hospitalization/relapse in patients with acute asthma exacerbation

John E. Schneider, Lawrence M. Lewis, Ian Ferguson, Stacey L. House, Jingxia Liu, Kazuko Matsuda, Kirk Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives (1) Compare ideal cut-off points for DS and %FEV1 at 1 and 3 h to predict hospitalization/relapse in subjects with moderate to severe asthma exacerbation (2) Develop a multivariate regression model using DS, %FEV1, demographic, and clinical variables to predict hospitalization/relapse. Methods Subjects with acute exacerbation of asthma (FEV1 <50% predicted following 30 min of standardized treatment: 5 mg nebulized albuterol; 0.5-1.5 mg nebulized ipratropium; and 50 mg oral prednisone) were eligible. All subjects had %FEV1 and DS obtained at baseline and hourly for 3 h. Using hospitalization/relapse as the outcome of interest; we compared the area under the receiveroperator curves (AUC) between the 1 and 3 h DS and %FEV1 measurements, and the AUC for the change in DS and %FEV1 between baseline and hour-3. We determined ideal cut-points for %FEV1 and DS to maximize sensitivity and specificity. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values, and positive and negative likelihood ratios (LR) were compared between %FEV1 and DS. We developed a multivariate regression model examining the association of specific demographic and clinical variables to hospitalization/relapse. Results 142 patients were included for analysis. The AUC was greatest for the 3-h DS (0.721), followed by the 3-h %FEV1 (0.669). Optimum cut-off values were a DS of 2, and an FEV1 of 42%. These were associated with a +LR for the composite outcome of 3.06 and 2.48 respectively. Logistic regression showed baseline DS, 3-h DS, change in DS, and oxygen use at hour 3 were all associated with the composite outcome. Conclusions The 3-h score for %FEV1 and DS performed better than scores at any other time point and better than either parameter over time. The 3-h DS had the greatest association with the composite outcome. Neither test was a strong enough predictor to be used solely for this purpose.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1284-1291
Number of pages8
JournalRespiratory Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014


  • Asthma exacerbation
  • Dyspnea score
  • FEV
  • Hospital admission


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